Armlift, Breast Lift & Abdominoplasty - Durham, NC

Tomorrow is the big day. I have lost 140ish pounds...

Tomorrow is the big day. I have lost 140ish pounds from my highest weight and it is time for skin removal. I am 5'8" and fluctuate between 142 at my lowest to 150 (this morning). Dr. Erdmann at Duke University is doing the surgeon. He has encouraged me to do these three procedures all at once and I am a little scared of the potential pain involved but I have a great husband and hope to recover quickly!!

One day post op

So this is super painful = I am trying to remember that I am only 1 day out -- holy moly. I cannot tell my breasts were done but the tummy is killing me. The loss of movement in my arms is awful, but it will get better!!

Compression Garments

I really want better compression for my sleeves. I feel sorry for my husband he is having go do everything!!

More Photos

I felt like looking at everyone else's pics was the most helpful - so I am going to try and keep them updated. I was a hot mess...

Day 3 Post op Photos

I am three days out Breast lift, arm lift and tummy tuck. I am having weakness in my left arm which is bothersome.
No pain in my breasts at all. Coughing is rough and the vertical scar hurts the most. I take my pain meds every four hours still.

4 days Post Op

Just in case your surgeon doesn't tell you ... don't get constipated!!! Yikes. Colace, Miralax - whatever it takes. The anesthesia will shut down your system and the narcotics don't help!!

Pain is better today. Left arm still weak. No pain in the breasts at all. Vertical scar hurts like a beast if I cough or laugh. Still taking pain meds - no reason to hurt here at day 4! Drains are still in place - two in the tummy. They are really no big deal. Will find out if they can come out tomorrow at my follow up. I am still getting about 80ccs from #2 and 50 from #1 -- so I doubt it.

6 Days Post Op

I had my follow up with my PS yesterday. He said that everything looks like it is supposed to so far. I asked about the weakness in my left arm and he was less than helpful. He had me move my arm in various positions and told me the three nerves that are involved with the procedure we all fully intact and he had no idea why my arm was weak. He then asked me if I wanted to go to a neurologist. It totally freaked me out. Luckily the nursing team swooped in and assured me that they had patients with weakness following the surgery due to the surgical positioning and they weren't worried. I will trust the nursing staff and give it more time before I worry that this is a permanent issue.

My drains were still putting out too much to warrant removal. I have been scheduled for follow up on the 8th and he will take them out then. I was really hoping to have them out before the weekend, but oh well. I have to do what is best for me. If they dry up before Friday I might put in a call to see if I can get them out sooner. So I still have 2 drains in my abdominoplasty. The area where the vertical and horizontal scar meet at my belly button looked a little red and angry, but he did not feel like this was an area of concern. I am taking the K-flex and had no fever.

He took the steri-strips off my breasts and my tummy and then replaced them. They did not change the ones on my arms.

I get super stiff when I sleep. I sleep on a recliner with pillows under my arms. It hurts my back. I really want to get back into my regular bed soon.

My goal for today is to take a real shower - even with the drains in, he said I could and just to make sure everything was dry before I put my compression back on. Three procedures at once is truly a pain, but I think in the long run I will be glad I bunched the recoveries all together.

Day 6 Post Op Photos

One Week Post Op

I had a rough night last night. My back hurts from keeping my arms elevated and everything so still. I am still sleeping in the recliner.

I also received my Marena Compression garment and it did not fit. There was no compression in the arms and the breasts were too tight. I followed the measurement guidelines, but they wanted to charge me a 15% restocking fee. Luckily the guy at Marena waived it since I did enter my measurements on the website.

My surgeon said that I could wear an Under Armour shirt and a sports bra so it looks like a trip to Dick's is in order for tonight.

I am 4 inches bigger in my hips than I was pre op - so I am experiencing some swelling for sure. I know I am only a week out...I just hope it goes down so I have clothes to wear to work!

10 days Post Op

Tomorrow is my next follow up with the PS and unfortunately these darn drains are not drying up. For the last three days I have been getting 20 out of #1 and 45-50 out of #2. So I am afraid he won't be able to remove them. Lord knows I do not want them to come out earlier than the should - but I have to get back to work.
I am proud to report I haven't taken any pain medicine since I took one 5mg oxycodone 12 hours ago. I am kind of delicate -- I also had a lot of swelling because I did entirely too much yesterday. I have tried to stay off my feet.
I am still having the weakness in my left arm but I really do think the tingling in my thumb is better. I am keeping a positive attitude!
I am not used to sitting around doing nothing. I hope I don't jeopardize my recovery by doing too much too soon just because I feel good.

11 Day Follow up with PS

Today was my 11 day post op visit. Today I was able to get only 1 of my drains out. I know it is for the best but I feel so gross with this think and dealing with the tube is a pain in the butt. He was like, oh you can go back to work next week just hide it under a sweat shirt. Well, first of all its 90 degrees outside and secondly I wear business attire to work...not sweatshirts, but whatever :-)
I also got the stitched out of my belly button and my nipples. It did not really hurt. Confession - I dosed up the pain medicine an hour before just in case!! No sense in hurting.

Day 12 Photos

No pain medicine today! I slept in the bed last night for the first time instead of the recliner.

Day 13

I drove for the first time today!! Woo hoo. 13 days post op. I did WAY TOO MUCH so now I am swollen, achy and tired. Popped a couple of pain meds and got my feet up. Mentally it made me feel much better to rejoin the real world.
Drain #2 is still kickin' and producing what looks like 35-40cc's. Doc says I have to be at 15 or less to get it out. Bummer. I have to go back to work next week.
My stupid girdle is killing me so I decided to order one from Design Veronique based on the reviews I read here and elsewhere. The one I wanted didn't fit my dimensions, so I called them and he directed me to the High Back Rubanesque one. $159 - goodness. This thing had better do the trick. I will post a photo when I get it. Should be tomorrow.

16 Days Post Op

I am completely over this drain. It bothers me when I sit down - walk around, I just can't get it somewhere comfortable. Can't wait for it to come out!
I am not sleeping well either. Mainly because I am only sleeping on my back. I accidentally rolled over last night and felt an awful searing pain in my right arm incision.
I bought a smaller compression band/abdominal binder from Walgreens and it is helping.
Doc said that I can wear a compression shirt, but my arms are so tiny I don't really get much tightness in the biceps. Oh poor me with my tiny arms ;-)
Well, that sounded like a lot of complaining! Maybe it's my anxiety of having to go back to work on Tuesday!!!

18 Days Post Op

I GOT THE DRAIN OUT!!!! Thank the good Lord. It has been out for 6 hours and I feel like a different person. She snipped two little stitches, asked me to take a big deep breath then pulled it out during my slow exhale. The only thing I really felt was the pulling of the stitches. The drain coming out did not bother me at all.
Everything thing is progressing as expected. I am going back to work tomorrow :( just 1/2 days this week - I wish I had more time to lay around. They told me it was important not to twist or lift.
Binder until next Thursday then I can switch to Spanx.
Followup with PS in 3 more weeks.
Dr. Detlev Erdmann

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Comments (52)

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Good luck tomorrow at work. :) Have a Good Night!
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Glad things are working out. Yay for being drainless! :)
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Thank you! Those are the worst.
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You look AWESOME! Great job on losing and getting healthy :)
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You look Lovely and the arms look tiny as you said :) what great problem to have :)
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You could try buying a pair of little girls tights, cut off the toes and top, then use then as compressions. Just an idea that might help. They come in various sizes too. By the way, your arms look incredible. I'm having mine done in November. Hope mine heal as well as yours did. Feel better:)
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Your arm scars look great!! I hope the drain comes out soon!
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12 days?! Your arms are healing so nicely. So happy for you.
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Your arms Healed very nice. You must be so HAPPY!
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Congrats!!! Omg, I love your arms!!!! Yay, amazing , absolutely amazing;)
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Aww thanks :-) I am pretty excited. I hated them SO BAD before ... I still just stare at them in the mirror marveling.
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Lol heck, I would marvel too!!!
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Hi! Your arms look amazing, I'm hoping my results will be as good. I'm SO nervous about the decision to go through with full arm lift but have mine scheduled in one week (full brachioplasty that will extend to lateral chest wall). Your incisions look so good, is there anything special besides the strips you are putting on them? The one thing I am very self conscious about is the visible scar.
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Today is day 12 post op. I had the Steri strips on there until day 10 when the surgeon told me to take them off. I have also been wearing compression sleeves. Since day 10 I have been using Cicalfate from Avene. The aesthetician that works in Dr. Erdmann's office is one of my BFF's and she had me start Cicalfate twice per day.
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At least you got 1 out :) 90 degree weather,i wish!! I HATE WINTER. Have a Good Night.
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I will pray that weakness goes away in the left arm Keep up the positivity. :) It goes a long way.
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Thank you!
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YW!
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Wow, your arm scar is amazing. It looks like you are healing really well.
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Thank you! He was pleased with the incision.
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You look wonderful. Beautiful skinny arms.
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You're sweet :-) Thank you.
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First of all, " WOW ", you look great. I'm having extended bracioplasty and breast reduction and lift in about a month. I was wondering if you could tell me if you were able to do all your own bathroom toilet duties (cleaning yourself after using ). Was it extreamly painful to your arms if you cleaned yourself or did you need a significant other to help with that. Sorry so graphic, but I can't think of a more delicate way of asking for info regarding this? Again, you look wonderful. I had a tummy tuck ten years ago, yes, it's very painful, but sooooo worth it. Also, if anyone else has a list of must haves for after an extended bracioplasty and breast reduction/ lift, then I would love to read it so that I can prepare in advance. I had a vertical and medical thigh lift four months ago. I have posted some must haves for that procedure if anyone is interested.
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Thank you! I was able to go to the bathroom and do everything pretty much by myself from the beginning. I did need some help getting my pants down. I would recommend nightgowns. My husband helped me wash my hair. I am 9 days out today and washed and dried my hair myself. The arms are achy and sore if you bump the incisions. The breasts do not hurt at all. I am having weakness in my left arm from the position i was in during surgery. I am hoping that part gets better sooner than later!
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Thanks for the info. Good question Nipper, I too am having a brachioplasty and boob work soon and could use any tips.
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